Some liquor sales to resume in Czech Republic following methanol poisoning outbreak

Alcohol sales will be allowed to resume in the Czech Republic, following a spate of deaths and hospitalizations from methanol-laced liquor.

The sale of hard liquor was banned Sept. 14 after more than 20 people died from black market alcohol tainted with methanol, an industrial solvent often used in counterfeit booze. In total, 26 people died across the Czech Republic, according to media reports.

However, beginning last week, the Czech government allowed the sale of newly made spirits and stamped bottles to resume. The ban also was lifted for drinks made prior to January. However, officials still are looking for about 15,000 liters of liquor that contain methanol, according to Reuters.

Millions of liters of alcohol that don’t fall within the approved timeline will have to be destroyed, according to reports.

Police have arrested two men, who could face up to 20 years in prison for distributing the methanol-laced spirits.

The effects of ingesting methanol include nausea and vomiting, confusion and vision difficulty or loss. In the most severe cases, it can lead to coma and death.

Methanol can be found in antifreeze, fuel additives and varnish, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

To read the full story from Reuters, click here.

To read previous coverage of this story from the Neogen blog, click here.

For Neogen’s methanol testing solutions, click here.

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